PropertyGuru Asia Real Estate Summit 2022 calls for responsible innovation and adaptive reinvention

  • Sustainability advocates and diversity champions lead thought-provoking conversations on inclusivity and smart solutions
  • Global experts and senior representatives from the International Finance Corporation/World Bank Group, Economist Intelligence Unit, UN-Habitat gave keynote presentations
  • Popular web channel Never Too Small founder Colin Chee is named PropertyGuru’s Visionary of the Year while Indonesia-based company Rebricks wins the ARES Tech Innovation Award
  • PropertyGuru Group’s enterprise solutions, PropertyGuru for Business, launches at ARES

PropertyGuru Group (NYSE: PGRU), Southeast Asia’s leading property technology company, has returned its thought leadership platform, the PropertyGuru Asia Real Estate Summit (ARES), to the physical stage, drawing the most brilliant minds from around the world to the Thai capital. 

Following the successful virtual summit editions in 2020 and 2021, the 2022 edition of PropertyGuru Asia Real Estate Summit, supported by the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) and PropertyGuru for Business, is themed ‘Adaptive Reinvention.’ The day-long programme focused on the way forward for the real estate and tech sectors as they emerge from the pandemic era and continue reckoning with climate realities. 

Emceed by seasoned broadcaster Tina Ryan, ARES 2022 took place 8 December 2022, marking 15 years since the foundation of PropertyGuru Group. The 2022 edition of the Summit also coincided with the launch of its enterprise brand, ProeprtyGuru for Business.

Hari V. Krishnan, chief executive officer and managing director of PropertyGuru Group, said, “Today, PropertyGuru completes fifteen years of operations, and we mark it with the launch of our enterprise solutions brand ‘PropertyGuru For Business’, that aims to guide enterprise clients such as property developers, agencies, banks, valuers, city planners and policy makers.  It is our ambition to bring transparency within the real estate journey and create a trust platform for home seekers and our business partners. By harnessing the integrated power of our proprietary data, technology and people, we hope to empower our business partners and customers to make better informed decisions.

At an enterprise or a city level, these decisions can impact thousands, or even millions of people, and PropertyGuru For Business is here to guide our clients to maximise growth opportunities, while reducing risk and uncertainty. We believe PropertyGuru for Business is a timely launch as we hope to equip our enterprise clients with the right data, tools and information to be able to navigate the uncertain economic conditions that lie ahead and be better prepared to serve their customers.”

Jeremy Williams, managing director for marketplaces at PropertyGuru Group, said: “For the eighth year, the PropertyGuru Asia Real Estate Summit has gathered the brightest minds, top-level business leaders, and decision-makers in the property and technology sectors from around the world. Over these eight years, our goal for PropertyGuru Asia Real Estate Summit has remained constant: to educate, innovate and inspire—sharing ideas, inspiring innovation, and developing practical solutions that can help improve our built environments. 

“Our theme this year is adaptive reinvention. We will focus on how our cities, communities and built environments can adapt to changes and how we, the inhabitants and developers of these environments, can use best practices and lessons from the past to build the communities of tomorrow.” 

More than 40 global experts from around the world flew in for the summit at The Athenee Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Bangkok where they issued and renewed a call for adaptation and mitigation in a world changed by the coronavirus and global warming. The discussions and presentations challenged the audience—in addition to viewers tuned in to the live stream of the Summit on its official YouTube and Facebook channels—to exercise critical thinking in the areas of sustainability, inclusivity, diversity, and creativity after the pandemic. 

The 8th PropertyGuru Asia Real Estate Summit was thematically divided into four segments: Restart/Rebound; Revive/Reboot; Rethink/Reset; and Reimagine/Reinvent.

The programme opened with a call to action on urban change from Stephen Oehme, the managing director of Quantum Thailand Ltd and a former board member of Burj Khalifa Dubai. The first segment of the programme also included a keynote on sustainability by Erastus Njuke Ndugire, programme manager for the City Investment Facility at the United Nations Human Settlement Programme (UN-Habitat) and a keynote on the state of Asia’s current macroeconomy by Syetarn Hansakul, Asia Analyst for the Economist Intelligence Unit.

The second segment of the summit included a keynote on financing instruments and climate investments in property businesses by Kim-See Lim, regional director of East Asia and the Pacific at the International Finance Corporation (IFC)/The World Bank Group, as well as a keynote on humanitarian tech by Illac Diaz, founder of Liter of Light Foundation and winner of PropertyGuru’s Visionary of the Year award in 2020. Tech entrepreneur Dustin Jefferson Onghangseng also presented a showcase of comprehensive air sensor uHoo, winner of the 2021 PropertyGuru Tech Innovation Award. 

The second segment ended with a discussion on the property rights of the LGBTQI+ community in Asia, moderated by drag artist and television host Pangina Heals, with panellists Nick Myers, founder and CEO of RedFox AI; Ramil Andag, SOGIESC rights officer of APCOM Foundation; and William Tan, real estate advisor and co-founder of Prident and Haus of Pride.

The third segment, opened with a discussion on data-driven sustainable affordable housing solutions panel (co-presented by REHDA Institute) featuring Dr. Nai Jia Lee, head of real estate intelligence at PropertyGuru Group, and Ryan Ip, CFA, MRICS, research director and head of land and housing at Our Hong Kong Foundation, with moderator Tan Sri Datuk Eddy Chen Lok Loi, trustee of REHDA Institute and group managing director of MKH Berhad. International broadcaster Manisha Tank led the following discussion that focused on smart post-Covid development strategies, with panellists Josh Chye, partner and head of tax at HLB Mann Judd and board member and treasurer of the Property Funds Association of Australia; Stephen Pimbley, founding partner and director of SPARK Architects; Winston Lee, director of special projects at PropertyGuru Group; and Ir. Dr. Zulhkiple A. Bakar, managing director of Perunding ZAB Sdn Bhd.

The third segment continued with the Design keynote, delivered by Marshall Blecher, founding partner of MAST, the Copenhagen-based architecture studio working with water to create innovative, open and sustainable spaces. Another panel discussion, moderated by Variety media analyst and correspondent Heidi Chung, featured leading voices pushing for a sustainability-first mindset among developers, investors and consumers in Asia: Dr. Kessara Thanyalakpark, managing director of Sena Development Public Company Limited; Kristin Thorsteins, regional head of partnership growth, APAC West, IWG; Rachanee Chanawatr, Asia-Pacific principal of the International Financial Corporation/World Bank Group; Stephen Oehme; and Thien Duong, general director for Vietnam at GroupGSA. 

The segment closed with a discussion among powerful women leaders: Coco Liu, chief regional officer of APAC, HLB; Jean Jacquelyn de Castro, CEO of ESCA Incorporated; Loemongga Haoemasan, president director of Asiana Group; and Shyn Yee Ho-Strangas, managing director of data and software solutions at PropertyGuru Group, with Palanca-winning author and journalist Jessica Zafra as moderator.

ARES 2022’s final segment gathered some of today’s most influential content creators and personalities to discuss the effects of new media on property seekers: Jett Gunther, video producer and news anchor for Thaiger; Nelly Hrnic, creator of Nelly’s Life and Making It Happen; and Wil Dasovich, television personality and creator, with the special participation of Illac Diaz. 

The final segment was also an opportunity to present several honours to outstanding game-changers and innovators. PropertyGuru Tech Innovation Award, a benchmark of excellence for startups and SMEs with game-changing products and innovations in proptech, was presented to Rebricks, an Indonesian company that transforms rejected waste into useful building materials. Jules Kay, general manager of PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards & Events, had engaged Novita Tan and Ovy Sabrina, founders of Rebricks, in a fireside chat about the journey of trash to eco-friendly bricks. The company bested contenders from the US and Thailand for the award. 

Manav Kamboj, chief technology officer of PropertyGuru Group, was on hand to present the Developer’s Choice award to the winner of PropertyGuru Hackathon 2022: Selling Sunsets, a market insights and campaign tool. Kamboj also delivered the highly anticipated Guru Keynote.

The 2022 Visionary of the Year award was presented to Colin Chee, founder of popular web series Never Too Small, whose unique, distinctive storytelling skills and passion for small-footprint residential architecture and design have inspired a global movement. Chee, the fourth overall recipient of this honour, also presented a case study on repurposed structures.

Following the summit, distinguished guests headed to an exclusive gathering at the ARES VIP Cocktail Part: Celebrating Power Women in Real Estate, sponsored by PropertyGuru for Business, an occasion that honoured four influential women leaders who push for gender diversity and equality in their respective fields.

The 8th PropertyGuru Asia Real Estate Summit was part of the ‘PropertyGuru Week’, which included the presentation of the 17th PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards Grand Final. The presentation served as a culmination of the 2022 Awards series of in-person and virtual gala celebrations.

PropertyGuru Asia Real Estate Summit (ARES 2022) is supported by official MICE partner Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB); official partner PropertyGuru for Business; official channel partners History and Lifetime; official magazine and podcast Property Report by PropertyGuru; official PR partner Artemis Associates; media partners d+a Magazine, Esquire PH, Hot Magazine, People Asia, REm Thailand, Southeast Asia Globe, The Grid, and Think of Living; official ESG partner Baan Dek Foundation; official charity partner Liter of Light; and supporting associations Green Building Consulting & Engineering, IFC – Building Resilience Index, IFC – Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies, and REHDA Institute.

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